Today At Meetingbrook

Thursday, November 21, 2002

hospice

companioning presence

here,
home

Wednesday, November 20, 2002


God is
what is
looking through
us
with love.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Snow grows wet and slush hardens Ragged mountainside. Ji-Ji-Mu-Ge settles into hermitage. Jumps to table during Sunday Evening Practice knocks over two candles. Spends rest of conversation about the philosophy suggested by his name in the bathroom meowing his views.

Cesco perfumes himself on the mountain with some fragrance that is washed out of him in bathtub. He is cooperative and unfragrant again. Both Sando and Cesco stopped short on the path overlooking Hosmer Pond when a moving lump that turned out to be a porcupine ambled across our trek. We turned back.

Mu-ge and the two dogs circle for agreeable boundaries in the house. These wary obstacles of particularity -- spatial negotiations -- narrow and tighten and perhaps, in time, will disappear. So too with us. We move from the unboundaried to vague then clear boundaries, through permeable boundaries to no boundaries -- someday. So much of life seems to be the establishing then dismantling of boundaries. In the spiritual life the process is mandatory. In national and security matters the process freezes with establishing and protecting clear boundaries. Unless, of course, the will of the state demands more and more and more for itself.

We are grateful to be spared the responsibility for securing the state, the nation, and interests therein. It is a special service some take on for the rest of us -- to protect and preserve. Both church and state assume that task. The rest of us are free to let go and let God emerge where church and state do not control. That place is within. That place is no-place.

In prison Friday Andre's poem asked us to consider the word "capture." It is well worth contemplating. To capture = to take. (In contrast, to leave = to fail to take or refrain from taking.) To be captured by the sun after a storm is to be taken by the warmth and brightness, relief following danger. (To leave or to let go, to suffer, permit, or allow is to free and be freed from that which catches or gains control by force, stratagem, or guile.)

Likewise, Harold follows up his personal autobiographical inquiry with an investigator's efforts to interview those who knew him before his crime 25 years ago. The investigator writes he might not spell so well, but he'll ask the right questions.)

So too Shane is asking himself whether to continue here where he is or (in some way) depart. Maybe a new citizenship in another country. (Maybe in a way of thinking that is not so punishing.) It is a privileged education we experience visiting for conversation inside the walls of prison. We read Andre Cadrescu's essay on John Cage's Silence, and Shunyata's (Emmanuel Sorensen's) two chapters in Dancing With The Void and a New York Time's Science article on the Cosmological theory of an Inflating Multiverse and Limitless Space.

We're just conversing with each other.

Perhaps there is no boundary. I am in prison. I am in hermitage. I am poem being written. I am universe expanding beyond itself. I am inmate sitting at round table. I am guard looking in through glass window. I am Cesco snoozing on bed after bath washing away pungent smell. I am water draining into septic. I am kneeler in front room waiting for weight to posture itself in front of crucifix. I am wind chime hanging from cedar tree in strong wind. I am crusted snow with fallen oak leaves stretched along expanse. I am porcupine burrowing into hollow trunk on darkened hill. I am letters throwing themselves together into words that settle for now into narrative. I am silence and emptiness following final period ending this word.